Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Reef Will Complete the Hail Cove Living Shoreline Project
Northeast Region, June 28, 2011
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Hail Cove Living Shoreline, USFWS
Hail Cove Living Shoreline, USFWS - Photo Credit: n/a
Hail Cove Reef Design, USFWS
Hail Cove Reef Design, USFWS - Photo Credit: n/a
Hail Cove Overview, USFWS
Hail Cove Overview, USFWS - Photo Credit: n/a

A reef will soon be completed at the Hail Cove Living Shoreline Project with a Maryland Artificial Reel Initiative (MARI) grant for $25,000 The project is located at the southern end of Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, in Kent County, MD.  The reef design was developed by Chesapeake Bay Field Office's Roy Hewitt in coordination with the MARI, Ducks Unlimited, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge. A patchwork of rock, 1-2 feet high, will complete the 2.5 acre reef that will support oyster and other bivalves that will, in turn, provide food and habitat for waterfowl and fish. Additional funding will come from the Chesapeake Bay Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex (NWR), Coastal Conservation Association-MD and Chesapeake Bay Field Office's Coastal Program.


In addition to the new reef, the Hail Cove Living Shoreline Project includes an 800-foot long living shoreline created along the narrow isthmus between the Hail Cove and the Hail Creek in 2009. Two headland breakwaters with sand placed within the structures provides additional shallow water habitat protection at the entrance to the cove.


An initial 1000 feet of reef (Arc of Stone) was seeded with twenty bushels of oysters grown by Washington College with support from the Friends of Eastern Neck. The Arc of Stone serves as a pilot study of shallow water oyster survival. In less than two years the Arc of Stone and the headland structures are transforming into a functioning reef with surviving oysters and native bent mussels that provide forage and refuge for striped bass, blue crabs, American eels and wintering waterfowl.


The Hail Cove Living Shoreline and reef project is the result of a collaborative public-private partnership to reduce shore erosion, protect sensitive wildlife habitat and create habitat for critical Chesapeake Bay fish and wildlife species. The project in Hail Cove was designed to protect 108 acres of priority submerged aquatic vegetation habitat in Hail Creek, reduce shoreline erosion and now provide substrate to complete a reef ecosystem demonstration project.


For more information contact:

David Sutherland




Erik Zlokovitz




Matt Whitbeck

410/228-2692, ext. 115


Contact Info: Kathryn Reshetiloff, 410-573-4582, kathryn_reshetiloff@fws.gov
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